Monday, November 21, 2005

Congress Gets Stealth Pay Raise

The United States Congress helped itself to a $3100 pay raise while no one was looking. In the final hours of a break neck session prior to the holiday recess, Congress made sure it got its hands a bit deeper in the pockets of Americans. The Congress has a unique way of handling pay raises. Unlike other legislation that they actually have to vote on, pay raises are automatic unless they vote against them. This reverse method of legislation is designed to keep attention away from the pay raises by having them take effect with little fanfare.

Members of Congress are aware of the distrust America has for their members. In the past, Congressional pay raises were more noticeable and people would raise a stink when they voted themselves hefty pay raises, especially during difficult economic times. These stealth pay raises help the representatives get more money without inflaming their constituents. It truly is out of sight, out of mind.

There have been suggestions in the past that Congress deserves more money. The claims have been made that they are paid much less than those in the private sector with similar responsibilities. What people fail to recognize is that executives in the private sector are held accountable for their performance. If a private sector executive has as dismal a record as members of Congress then that person would be looking for a new job. Additionally, being an elected official must be lucrative or people who believe they have such a wonderful earning potential would not stay in the jobs for their entire lives.

Read it at the Washington Post

Cross posted at Big Dog's Weblog

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